Getting help and advice

Adapting your home - how to get help and advice

If you, or someone living with you, have a disability, an adaptation may help you to live more comfortably in your home.

You must not start work to your home until you have received grant approval from the Housing Executive.

You might qualify for grant aid to help you with the adaptions needed on your home. An assessment of your income will see if you will have to pay for any of the work. An assessment will not be required if the disabled person is under 19 and a dependant.

There are different ways to apply for adaptions, depending on whether your home is:

Who can get help?

You may be able to get help adapting your home if you, or someone living with you:

  • is having difficulty with every day activities around the home, and
  • has been assessed by Health & Social Services Trust Occupational Therapists

Anyone can apply for this service, whether you rent or own your home. Landlords and other household members are also able to apply on the behalf of someone living in the property.

What types of adaptations are available?

All adaptations are tailored to meet the needs of each person who applies, but are split into two main categories:

  • Major work, such as providing an extension, ground floor toilet or installing a lift
  • Minor work, such as fitting a handrail, ramp or shower.

How much will the adaptation cost?

If you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant

If you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant, there will be no cost for adaptations to your home.  Your rent is unlikely to go up unless there have been substantial additions to your house. Your local district office or housing association will be able to give you advice.

If you own your own home or if you live in a privately rented house

If you own your own home or live in a privately rented house your local Health and Personal Social Services Trust may be able be able to make small changes to your home. They may also be able to install lifts free of charge.

You may also qualify for grant aid:

These grants can help with the cost of adaptations that are not carried out by the Health Trusts.

Landlords can also apply if there is a person with a permanent disability living in the house or planning on living in the house once the adaptations are completed.

The aim of the grants system is to provide financial help for those who cannot afford to pay for home improvements. The amount of Disabled Facilities or Home Repair Assistance Grant you get will depend upon the cost of adaptations and your ability to pay for them.  The amount of grant you will be given will be calculated by a means test called a Test of Resources (TOR).

When the grant is intended to meet the needs of a child, the parents/guardians will not require a Test of Resources (TOR). Your local Grants Officer will be able to provide you with more information.

The grants office will work out how much you are able to pay towards the cost of the works. The maximum grant you can receive is £25,000. Under the Home Repair Assistance Grant you can receive up to £5,000 over a three year period.

Should you require more information place contact your local Grants Office.

A step by step guide to adapting your home